Traveling Tales: student's experiences studying abroad

Allison's experience in France

France on world map
Allison studied abroad in France

The Story

Allison is an English major at the University of Florida and is also studying French. During her sophomore year, she decided it was time to study abroad and immerse herself in the French culture. She said she was tired of reading about it in textbooks and was ready to experience the real deal.

Allison chose to study with an outside program, called American Programs International (API), because very few UF programs fit her interests. Her ultimate goal was to learn more about the French language and civilization. The program planned four excursions for students and took them to places like Normandy and Champagne. In France, Allison took cinema classes, phonetics classes and others which were taught completely in French.

Although it was difficult in the beginning to adjust to the country and style of classes, she said her close friends made it doable. Occasionally, however, she found found herself surrounded by Americans. She said she had to make an effort to go to bars, cafes, and other public places to mingle with the locals. Allison even got the opportunity to travel to five other countries on a spring break Eastern European trip. She said she highly suggests budgeting and saving up for travel.

Allison’s best advice for people studying abroad is to throw yourself out there. Contrary to what many think, she said theFrench people are very friendly and want to get to know you. If she could do anything differently while studying abroad, Allison said she wouldn’t come back. She described France as the land of delicious cheese, wine and baguettes.